Six hit pilot scripts plus the one that got away, from the keyboard of LAURENCE MARKS and MAURICE GRAN.
Holding the Fort
Shine On Harvey Moon
The New Statesman
Birds of a Feather
Lady Ottoline Pierpoint’s Guide to Intimate Behaviour for Gentlewomen
Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran always wanted to be television comedy writers. perhaps because they grew up during what they consider to be the golden age of situation comedy.
They spent much of the 1970s failing to sell any of their first four sit-com attempts. Then in 1979 they managed to penetrate the office of Humphrey Barclay, the head of comedy at London Weekend Television. Amazingly, he liked their fifth sit-com idea enough to commission the script that became Holding the Fort, the first pilot in this book.
Between that day in spring 1979, and summer 1993, Marks and Gran went on to create a dozen original television comedies, winning two British Academy awards and an International Emmy. Shooting the Pilot features the original pilot scripts of six of their most successful series. From Holding the Fort to Goodnight Sweetheart.
Within Shooting the Pilot you will encounter such well-loved TV characters as Gary Sparrow, Alan B’Stard MP, Harvey Moon, and of course Sharon, Tracey and Dorien, the original Essex girls. Each script is preceded by an illuminating essay recounting how the show was developed and cast and the impact our chosen actors had on the scripts, and vice-versa.
As a bonus, you also have the chance to read the pilot that was never produced, Lady Ottoline Pierpoint’s Guide to Intimate Behaviour for Gentlewomen, and so learn something about the changing face of television.
Shooting the Pilot is a book for lovers of television comedy, as well as for would-be comedy writers, who will all be fascinated as Marks and Gran reveal some, if not all, of the tricks of their trade.